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Calcutta HC Issues Show Cause To President and Secretaries Of Striking Bar Associations [Read Order]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
11 Jan 2020 4:21 PM GMT
Calcutta HC Issues Show Cause To President and Secretaries Of Striking Bar Associations [Read Order]
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Taking stern view of the incessant lawyers' strike in Medinipur district of West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday asked the President and Secretaries of the concerned Bar Associations to show cause for not initiating contempt proceedings against them. The division bench of Justices Suvra Ghosh and Joymalya Bagchi has asked the Presidents and Secretaries of Medinipur...

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Taking stern view of the incessant lawyers' strike in Medinipur district of West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday asked the President and Secretaries of the concerned Bar Associations to show cause for not initiating contempt proceedings against them.

The division bench of Justices Suvra Ghosh and Joymalya Bagchi has asked the Presidents and Secretaries of Medinipur Bar Association and Midnapur District Bar Association to file their response by February 17, 2020.

"Report placed before us discloses sufficient materials to take a prima facie view that the conduct of the striking lawyers amounts to interference with administration of justice and has resulted in complete paralysis in the dispensation of justice in the said district. Under such circumstances, we direct the Presidents and Secretaries of the concerned Bar Associations…to show cause why contempt proceedings shall not be initiated against them in terms of law declared by the apex court in Harish Uppal (Ex-Capt.) Vs. Union of India (2003) 2 SCC 45," the order read.

The deplorable state of affairs at the Medinipur Sadar Court was brought to the court's attention in a bail plea wherein original case records could not be produced due to the long drawn strike. The court was appraised that the lawyers at the said court had been on strike since December 20, 2019.

The court noted that the striking lawyers not only held back from appearing before the courts but also obstructed access to the court premises to all, including judges, police officers, staff and willing litigants.

Vehemently condemning the lawyers for flouting repeated orders of the SC and behaving in such nonchalant manner, the bench said,

"The aforesaid state of affairs depicts a cavalier attitude on the part of the lawyers to the rule of law and repeated pronouncements of the Apex Court that a strike in court resulting in paralysis of administration of justice amounts to criminal contempt…Report placed before us discloses sufficient materials to take a prima facie view that the conduct of the striking lawyers amounts to interference with administration of justice and has resulted in complete paralysis in the dispensation of justice in the said district."

The high court also issued a slew of directions to curb the menace created by the striking lawyers. It directed the concerned District Judge and the Superintendent of Police to ensure that:

(a) Court premises at Medinipur Sadar is kept open and accessible to all, without any sort of obstruction.

(b) Prompt investigation for committing a cognizable offence is initiated against lawyers who cause obstruction to judges/police personnel/staff/willing lawyers/litigants and other stakeholders in the administration of justice.

(c) No obstruction is made in furnishing of bail bonds by sureties including the family members of accused persons.

The court also directed all the judicial officers and court staff to take all necessary steps so that certified copies and other relevant documents sought for by the litigants are provided to them forthwith.

Case Details:

Case Title: Aijul Gharami v. State of West Bengal

Case No.: CRM 12209/2019

Quorum: Justice Suvra Ghosh & Justice Joymalya Bagchi

Appearance: Advocates Ayan Bhattacharjee and Anand Keshari (for Petitioner); Assistant PP AK Maiti and ZN Khan with Advocate Trina Mitra (for State)

Click Here To Download Order

Read Order


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